2012 Mercedes C250 Sedan vs. 2012 BMW 328i Sedan

2012 Mercedes C250 Sedan vs. 2012 BMW 328i Sedan

Most, if not all people familiar with German luxury cars, will recognize both Mercedes-Benz and BMW‘s entry-level C-Class and 3 Series sedans. What those people might not see is how quickly the baby Benz and Bimmer lines are changing to meet both customer and emissions demands.

Both automakers offered a refreshed look at the segment this year, Mercedes with the 2012 C250 and BMW with its 328i. The common theme here is shrinking engines with forced induction to offer a combination of fuel efficiency and the power luxury buyers expect.

While both cars deliver on those fronts, there will be a clear winner between the two, at least for anyone concerned with spirited driving. Mercedes crunched its engine down to a 1.8-liter turbocharged inline four with direct injection for this year. It makes 201 horsepower and 229 lb-ft of torque. The C250 also manages 21 mpg city and 31 mpg highway, solid numbers when you consider this car is at its most powerful during higher rpms, which will happen on the highway where it feels smooth and comfortable.

Compare Specs

2012 Mercedes C250 Sedan
vs
2012 BMW 328i Sedan
Vehicle 2012 Mercedes C250 Sedan Advantage 2012 BMW 328i Sedan
Engine 1.8L I4 328i 2.0L I4
Horsepower 201 328i 240
Max. Torque 229 328i 260
Fuel Economy 21 MPG city / 31 MPG hwy 328i 23 MPG city / 33 MPG hwy
Transmission 7-Speed Automatic 328i 6-Speed Manual or 8-Speed Automatic
Front Seat Head Room 37.1 in. 328i 40.3 in.
Front Seat Leg Room 41.7 in. 328i 42 in.
Starting Price $34,800 C250 $35,775

BMW, on the other hand, offers entry-level buyers a car well in line with its “Ultimate Driving Experience” philosophy. With a 2.0-liter turbocharged inline four-cylinder engine that makes a more substantial 240 hp and 260 lb-ft of torque, the Bavarian car simply overpowers the Benz. Despite the extra strength, the 328i also gets better mileage with 23/33 mpg city/highway.

2012 Mercedes C250 Sedan

Unfortunately for the C250 its engine feels less than luxurious with a sometimes crude-sounding engine while the BMW is smooth and powerful. What’s worse, the Mercedes mill doesn’t feel nearly as punchy as its BMW rival.

That punchy feeling will be even more pronounced in the BMW with its standard 6-speed manual where Mercedes only offers a 7-speed automatic, which further dulls its driving feel. Optional on the BMW, and helping it’s fuel economy numbers, is an 8-speed automatic.

One area Mercedes fans will no doubt cheer about is the exterior styling. Anyone who appreciates the more angular, sharper look that started in 2006 will without question feel the same about this car.

Never one to be left out at a party, BMW also restyled its latest, though the change isn’t overly dramatic. This year the headlights reach in to touch the double kidney grille, leaving the car looking almost cross-eyed. Staring at this car head-on is almost like looking at someone who hasn’t cleaned the sleep out of their eyes. A more muscular-looking hood with subtle ridges give an organic yet understated look of power that actually works quite nicely.

Especially with luxury cars, the interior is equally as important as a stylish body, something both brands stake their reputations on and execute extremely well. Thankfully, neither car is a departure from that tradition. Mercedes’ C250 offers the quality of interior trim you would expect from a German manufacturer, with well-bolstered, comfortable seats, which is also true of the BMW. True to their brands, the Mercedes is more conservative, the BMW more Spartan.

Both cars offer an LCD display featuring Mercedes’ MBRACE and BMW’s iDrive systems respectively. They work well, but Mercedes’ system is starting to look dated, which is tough to swallow considering that this really is a refreshed car. Once maligned, iDrive is now the undisputed leader in easy-to-use in-car telematics.

Either choice will offer a luxurious ride with available safety and convenience features like lane departure warning, blind spot assistance and more (albeit at a premium). Mercedes is also offering its alertness assistance technology that detects drowsiness and attempts to wake or alert the driver.

2012 BMW 328i Sedan

BMW is offering the 328i chock full of new features that weren’t available previously, like a self-parking system, though they carry a premium price tag. Both cars also offer iPod integration and the ability to sync with a cell phone via Bluetooth for hands-free calling.

There’s no disputing that both Mercedes and BMW build impressive luxury vehicles for every segment currently entered. Priced at $35,775 to start, the BMW offers a much more engaging driver’s car that will be comfortable and entertaining. For a starting $34,800, the Mercedes-Benz C250 sedan offers the mellower luxo experience, though the engine doesn’t quite live up to the brand’s identity.

With such similar pricing, the final decision will between the Mercedes’ handsome and more mature luxury experience, or the less-attractive BMW’s more engaging drive.

« Back
SWEEPSTAKES – OFFICIAL RULES, TERMS AND CONDITIONS

AutoGuide.com’s Monthly Overlay Newsletter Signup – By subscribing to our email newsletter, Entrants are eligible to win one (1) Amazon.com Gift Card (value of $100.00 USD). One (1) winner will be chosen every month at random and contacted by VerticalScope Inc.’s staff. *Amazon.com is not a sponsor of this promotion. Except as required by law, Amazon.com Gift Cards ("GCs") cannot be transferred for value or redeemed for cash. GCs may be used only for purchases of eligible goods at Amazon.com or certain of its affiliated websites. For complete terms and conditions, see www.amazon.com/gc-legal. GCs are issued by ACI Gift Cards, Inc., a Washington corporation. All Amazon ®, ™ & © are IP of Amazon.com, Inc. or its affiliates. No expiration date or service fees.

1. NO PURCHASE OR PAYMENT OF ANY KIND IS NECESSARY TO ENTER OR WIN THIS SWEEPSTAKES. AGE/RESIDENCY RESTRICTIONS, VOID WHERE PROHIBITED.

2. PRIZE: One (1) Winner will be randomly selected every month to each receive: one (1) $100.00 Amazon.com Gift Card (the “Prize Supplier”). Total approximate retail value of all prizes is approximately $100.00 USD. Prizes are not transferable and no cash or prize substitution is allowed. Prize package is awarded "as is" with no warranty or guarantee, either express or implied.

3. ELIGIBILITY: From the time of entry through the final date of prize fulfillment, each contest entrant and selected entrant must be a permanent lawful citizen and resident residing in the 50 United States or the District of Columbia or in Canada, and be twenty one (21) years of age or older. VOID IN PUERTO RICO, THE U.S. VIRGIN ISLANDS, IN ALL FOREIGN COUNTRIES OUTSIDE OF THE UNITED STATES, AND ALL OTHER U.S. TERRITORIES OR CANADA AND POSSESSIONS AND WHERE PROHIBITED OR RESTRICTED BY LAW. Employees, officers, directors, agents and representatives, of the Sponsor and the Prize Supplier and each of their respective parent companies, affiliates, subsidiaries, advertising and promotion agencies, promotion partners and any entity involved in the development, production, implementation, administration or fulfillment of this Sweepstakes, and the immediate family members (e.g., spouse, mother, father, sister, brother, uncle, aunt, nephew, niece, grandparent, in-law, daughter and son, regardless of where they live) and persons living in the same household (whether or not related) of such individuals are not eligible to participate or win. Only one selected entrant per household. All decisions of the Sponsor with respect to this sweepstakes are final. The Sponsor shall have the right at any time to require proof of identity and failure to provide such proof may result in disqualification from the Sweepstakes.

4. ENTER BY INTERNET: You may enter this sweepstakes via the Internet by logging onto AutoGuide.com and subscribing to our email newsletter via the pop-up overlay.

5. SELECTION OF WINNER: One (1) Entrant will be selected by random selection who have subscribed to our email newsletter. The winner may be announced publicly on AutoGuide.com and will be contacted by VerticalScope Inc.’s staff. The winner will be required to provide a mailing address (that is not a P.O. box) to receive the prize which will be shipped free of charge.

6. ODDS OF WINNING: Odds of winning a prize are determined by the total number of eligible entries received.

7. RESTRICTIONS: The prize package consists of one (1) Amazon.com Gift Card with an approximate value of $100.00 USD. If prize cannot be awarded due to circumstances beyond the control of the Sponsor or Prize Supplier, no substitute prize will be awarded due to the unique nature of the prize. Sponsor and Prize Supplier shall not be liable to the winner or any person claiming through winner for failure to supply the prize or any part thereof, by reason of any acts of God, any action(s), regulation(s), order(s) or request(s) by any governmental or quasi-governmental entity (whether or not the action(s), regulations(s), order(s) or request(s) prove(s) to be invalid), equipment failure, utility failure, internet failure, terrorist acts, threatened terrorist acts, air raid, blackout, act of public enemy, earthquake, war (declared or undeclared), fire, flood, epidemic, explosion, unusually severe weather, hurricane, embargo, labor dispute or strike (whether legal or illegal) labor or material shortage, transportation interruption of any kind, work slow-down, civil disturbance, insurrection, riot, or any other cause beyond Sponsor's or Prize Supplier's control (collectively, "Force Majeure Event"). Sponsor shall not be responsible for any cancellations, delays, diversions or substitutions or any act or omissions whatsoever by the performers/events, other transportation companies or any other persons providing any of these services and accommodations to passengers including any results thereof such as changes in services or accommodations necessitated by same.

8. CONDITIONS: By entering the Sweepstakes, entrants agree to be bound by the Official Rules, Terms and Conditions and that Sponsor has the irrevocable right to use in perpetuity entrants' names, user names, likenesses, photographs, voices, home mailing address, biographical and prize information, and entry materials, without notice to entrants and without compensation or obligation, in any and all media now or hereafter known throughout the world, in any manner whatsoever, to advertise and promote Sponsor, its products and services, the Sweepstakes, and for any other purpose except where prohibited by law. Entrant waives the right to assert as a cost of winning a prize any and all costs of verification and redemption or travel to redeem said prize and any liability which might arise from redeeming or seeking to redeem said prize. Sponsor is not responsible for fraudulent calls or emails made to entrants not by the Sponsor. If the Sweepstakes is not capable of running as planned by reason of damage by computer viruses, worms or bugs, tampering, unauthorized intervention, fraud, technical limitations or failures, any Force Majeure Event or any other cause which, in the sole opinion of Sponsor, could corrupt, compromise, undermine or otherwise affect the administration, security, fairness, integrity, viability or proper conduct of the Sweepstakes, Sponsor reserves the right, in its sole and absolute discretion, to cancel, terminate, modify or suspend all or any part of the Sweepstakes, and to select a winner from among all eligible entries received by Sponsor up until the time of such cancellation, termination, modification or suspension, as applicable. Sponsor reserves the right in its sole discretion to disqualify any individual that (i) tampers or attempts to tamper with the entry process or the operations of this Sweepstakes in any manner, (ii) violates the Official Rules, Terms and Conditions or (iii) acts in an unsportsmanlike or disruptive manner, or with intent to annoy, abuse, threaten or harass any other person. CAUTION: ANY ATTEMPT BY AN ENTRANT OR ANY OTHER INDIVIDUAL TO DELIBERATELY DAMAGE OR UNDERMINE THE LEGITIMATE OPERATION OF THIS SWEEPSTAKES IS A VIOLATION OF CRIMINAL AND CIVIL LAWS. SHOULD SUCH AN ATTEMPT BE MADE, SPONSOR RESERVES THE RIGHT TO SEEK CIVIL AND/OR CRIMINAL PROSECUTION AND/OR DAMAGES FROM ANY SUCH PERSON TO THE FULLEST EXTENT PERMITTED BY LAW. Any expenses and receipt and use of the prize and federal, state and local taxes and fees applicable in connection with the prize awarded are the sole responsibility of the winner. An IRS Form 1099 will be issued in the name of the winner for the actual value of the prize received. This Sweepstakes is subject to all federal, state and local laws of the United States. VOID WHERE PROHIBITED. Sponsor, Prize Supplier, and their respective officers, directors, parent companies, affiliates, subsidiaries and advertising and promotion agencies, employees, representatives and agents are not responsible for and shall not be liable for (i) any injuries, losses or damages of any kind caused by a prize resulting from acceptance, possession or usage of the prize, or (ii) printing, distribution or production errors. Sponsor or its affiliates may rescind any promotion found to contain such errors without liability at its or their sole discretion.

9. SPONSOR: The Sponsor of this contest is VerticalScope Inc. (the owner and operator of AutoGuide.com), 111 Peter Street, Suite 700, Toronto, Ontario, M5V 2H1.

Subscribe to our email newsletter and automatically be entered to win.
*Restrictions apply. See offer for details

Get Breaking Automotive News, Reviews and Video in your Facebook Feed!

Already Liked